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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿ (Read 20196 times)
TonyRo
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #23 - 09/11/18 at 14:17:51
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Yeah, it's true, that's a real line that I would need to take a look at it. I might have time to take a look at it - one of the weaknesses of YouTube videos, but one of the strengths of attaching an updated lichess study!  Grin Cheesy Wink
  
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Stigma
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #22 - 09/11/18 at 13:01:19
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TonyRo wrote on 09/11/18 at 02:06:07:
A while back I did some work on 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6!? and uploaded it to YouTube here: TonyRo vs. the Catalan

There's more analysis in the YouTube study linked in the video description, though it's likely somewhat dated by now!



Looks great, thanks! I will have to look at all of it later, but just from the early parts I realized I haven't taken 4...Bb4+ 5.Nc3 seriously at all, though I really should. The 4.g3 Nimzo-Indian is topical right now, with Caruana and So playing it recently.

I actually planned to avoid this line entirely as Black by playing 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 c5 instead of ...d5 and ...dxc4, but if I combine that with 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Bb4+ it could come right back and bite me.
  

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TonyRo
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #21 - 09/11/18 at 12:39:39
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/11/18 at 05:18:50:
Do you think that 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6 is activer for Black than other lines ¿

No I don't - I think if you're looking for more active tries the logical choices are those where Black chooses an early conflict in the center with ...dxc4 and/or ...c5 instead of bolstering the d5-point with ...c6.
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #20 - 09/11/18 at 05:18:50
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TonyRo wrote on 09/11/18 at 02:06:07:
A while back I did some work on 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6!? and uploaded it to YouTube here: TonyRo vs. the Catalan

There's more analysis in the YouTube study linked in the video description, though it's likely somewhat dated by now!



Interesting, I thought that that line was one of Black's best choices.

Do you think that 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6 is activer for Black than other lines ¿ For me the entire 4...Ae7 complex and a few of the 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ae7 lines can easily lead to slow sufferring without counterplay even if no obvious mistakes are made.

The Ruy López was called "Spanish torture", but honestly the Catalán torture is much worse  Cheesy
  
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TonyRo
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #19 - 09/11/18 at 02:06:07
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A while back I did some work on 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6!? and uploaded it to YouTube here: TonyRo vs. the Catalan

There's more analysis in the YouTube study linked in the video description, though it's likely somewhat dated by now!

  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #18 - 09/09/18 at 19:16:45
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MNb wrote on 09/09/18 at 06:49:59:
I would play the 10...Ab7 line
Definitely too passive to my taste.


Well, it is Catalán after all  Cheesy

MNb wrote on 09/09/18 at 06:49:59:
If the entire complex is problematic for Black, I would have to revert to 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6.
Which poses the eternal question: what about Bc8 ?


idem  Cheesy

If Black can get in one of the breaks ...c5 or ...e5 it should be okay.

That is why I keep switching systems..

GMTonyKosten wrote on 09/09/18 at 08:24:26:
I have switched between six or seven Catalán systems for Black

Yes, me too, without any great success Sad


Even at GM level, you feel that Catalán is not fun for Black ¿

I might be going back to playing the Slav soon, even though giving up playing the Nimzo just because of the Catalán would be sad...
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #17 - 09/09/18 at 08:24:26
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/06/18 at 06:53:32:
I have switched between six or seven Catalán systems for Black


Yes, me too, without any great success Sad
  
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MNb
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #16 - 09/09/18 at 06:49:59
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kylemeister wrote on 09/08/18 at 21:12:13:

Obviously I don't know either, so thanks for the warning.

Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/08/18 at 21:46:05:
I would play the 10...Ab7 line

Definitely too passive to my taste.

Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/08/18 at 21:46:05:
If the entire complex is problematic for Black, I would have to revert to 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6.

Which poses the eternal question: what about Bc8 ?
  

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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #15 - 09/08/18 at 21:46:05
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I would play the 10...Ab7 line, but then there is Awrukh's 11. Ce5. I usually play this as White, not sure how it is going with Black recently.

If the entire complex is problematic for Black, I would have to revert to 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6.

I still find it strange that so many Catalán lines for Black seem so terse (?) and not fun to play, but with White I find that even playing the equal positions feel more comfortable. What would happen if the players who play 3. Cc3 or 3. Cf3 switched to 3. g3 ¿  Cheesy
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #14 - 09/08/18 at 21:12:13
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MNb wrote on 09/08/18 at 20:57:28:
In case of the Closed Catalan I agree that 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 is more precise than 4...Be7. How is 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 b6 with the idea ...Ba6 doing? If numbers mean something the main line is 9.Rd1 Ba6 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Bf4 Rc8, which looks pretty straightforward to me. After 12.Nc3 dxc4 Black is doing fine in practice and after 12.Nbd2 c5 excellent. Has White anything more promising?


I don't know but there is this recent thing ...

https://www.chesspublishing.com/content/7/index.htm#cat
https://en.chessbase.com/post/banikas-wins-paleochora-open-2018
  
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MNb
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #13 - 09/08/18 at 20:57:28
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Black won't lose by getting squeezed after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cd 5.Nxd4 d5 nor 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 b5, that's for sure.

As I'd like to play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 as Black (no QID for me), allowing 4.g3 (when c5 5.cxd5 does not transpose while 5.Bg2 cxd4 would), I have a similar problem. Perhaps the simplest solution would be following IM Cox' recommendation in Declining the Queen's Gambit: 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Nf3 Bb4+
a) 6.Bd2 a5
b) 6.Nd2 O-O
c) 6.Nc3 Nc6.

It's convenient for me that the latter is a good way to meet 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 (or 4.Nf3 d5 5.g3 dxc4 6.Bg2 Nc6) as d5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nf3 dxc4 just transposes.

In case of the Closed Catalan I agree that 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 is more precise than 4...Be7. How is 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 b6 with the idea ...Ba6 doing? If numbers mean something the main line is 9.Rd1 Ba6 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Bf4 Rc8, which looks pretty straightforward to me. After 12.Nc3 dxc4 Black is doing fine in practice and after 12.Nbd2 c5 excellent. Has White anything more promising?
  

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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #12 - 09/07/18 at 23:37:07
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ErictheRed wrote on 09/07/18 at 16:50:09:
mn is correct; this is not a gambit, and in my database it has a plus score for Black.  It's why I almost never play 4.Nf3 in that position as White.  You should really take a closer look at it, if you're fine playing the Benoni, I don't think that this should discourage you in the slightest.  In fact I think that it should encourage you.

Notice that after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cd 5.Nxd4 d5 White can't play 6.cd? because after simply 6...Qxd5 the rook is hanging on h1.  White has to play 6.Bg2 e5 and now either 7.Nf3 d4 or 7.Nc2 d4, both of which look pretty fun for Black to me.


I could have a look, but I did notice that Marin recommends 4. Cf3 in this line...but for White!

https://www.modern-chess.com/en/chess-databases/database=33

I remember now that I was trying to avoid the Benoni as White after 3. g3 c5, but I am not so knowledgeable with 4. Cf3.

IsaVulpes wrote on 09/07/18 at 22:56:21:
Which line do you play as White / hate as Black in the "classic mainline" of 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 CK 6.CK dc4:?


As Black I would much rather check first with 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ae7, because when White can play Cbd2 fast and get in e4, I much prefer that for White.

IsaVulpes wrote on 09/07/18 at 22:56:21:
Would be curious what bothers you so much. 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4? That's always looked like the most critical try to me, but perhaps I missed something altogether.


I play this as White, following mostly Awrukh's GM Repertoire 1A. My feeling is that should Black manage to equalise the game, which I find to be quite a pain in general, even in a equal/almost equal position, it is easier to try to win with White than with Black. And if Black makes an inaccuracy it can lead to a sufferring.

I do not play 7. Ce5 in that game you showed, just 7. Dc2. I think the latter is better, 7. Ce5 gives Black quite some activity for the pawn there.

I remember more than decade ago I was 2150 or something and played the Catalan for first time, getting squeezed in the 4...Ae7 main line and thought damn, I would give up playing the Nimzo if every White player played 3. g3 instead.

I do not want to give up the Nimzo again just because of 3. g3  Cheesy
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #11 - 09/07/18 at 22:56:21
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Which line do you play as White / hate as Black in the "classic mainline" of 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 CK 6.CK dc4:?

I hugely lack experience in the Catalan as almost nobody plays it at my rating level, but when I do get this position on the board in the occasional online Blitz game, I've never really felt too concerned.
Most people go for that Ne5 stuff, but those variations always looked more fun for *Black* to me..

Would be curious what bothers you so much. 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4? That's always looked like the most critical try to me, but perhaps I missed something altogether.

Sidenote // Obviously not exactly proving anything, but this was my most notable encounter in the Catalan, in an OTB Rapid Game against a 2100  Lips Sealed :
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #10 - 09/07/18 at 16:50:09
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fjd wrote on 09/06/18 at 23:32:55:
Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/06/18 at 18:45:44:
ErictheRed wrote on 09/06/18 at 14:54:47:
3...c5 4.Nf3 cd 5.Nxd4 d5 6.Bg2 e5 is not fun for you? 


You mean gambit where White plays cxd5 and Black puts bishop on c5 and tries for compensation?


Nah, this is a different line, Black gets to stick his pawn on d4.



mn is correct; this is not a gambit, and in my database it has a plus score for Black.  It's why I almost never play 4.Nf3 in that position as White.  You should really take a closer look at it, if you're fine playing the Benoni, I don't think that this should discourage you in the slightest.  In fact I think that it should encourage you. 

Notice that after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cd 5.Nxd4 d5 White can't play 6.cd? because after simply 6...Qxd5 the rook is hanging on h1.  White has to play 6.Bg2 e5 and now either 7.Nf3 d4 or 7.Nc2 d4, both of which look pretty fun for Black to me.
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #9 - 09/07/18 at 05:42:36
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Thanks, looks interesting. I also saw that Modern Chess have a database on a Black repertoire for Nimzo/Ragozin/Catalán, with Catalán first released based on 4...dxc4 and both 5...c5 and 5...Ad7. Might consider that one too..
  
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